THE BLOG
07/16/2013 12:34 pm ET | Updated Sep 15, 2013

Penis and Vagina: They Should Just Roll Off Your Tongue

Certain words in our vocabulary simply do not work and that is because those juicy morsels of syntax have been laced with shame since the earliest days of our childhood.

Most parents, when I grew up, felt collectively that the words "penis" and "vagina' were just not for public consumption, so instead they invented code words for those part of our bodies that we hold dear. So instead of hearing, "David, stop playing with your penis," I instead heard, "David, stop playing with your dinky bird." Now I have no idea what a dinky bird is, but I can only assume that it's kind of small and wrinkly, is wingless, hairless and becomes happy as a leprechaun when it's rewarded with attention.

I have done a little research to see if I could get a little insight to try and figure out what my mom was up to. Evidently the illustrator Maxfield Parrish who drew sumptuously for children's books, did a painting called "The Dinky Bird." And yet it is very confusing, as it appears to be a picture of an androgynous person on a swing in front of a large fairy tale-like castle. Now my mom would say "I cannot see his dinky bird" but I don't think that's it. And yet I have no idea what the real answer is. There was also a science fiction fanzine in the early sixties that was published in Minnesota called, "The Dinky Bird."

Now having seen the general population of Comic Con, I can say unequivocally there is a certain quietly shared obsession with the penis in that it's somehow connected to women, which, in their world, is where no man has gone before. But that bring me no closer to figuring out why my mom insisted on officially branding my private parts with the "D" word. Now I have seen an articles about birders who flock with their binoculars to state parks in search of a certain yellow chested bird, the pine flycatcher that has been described by enthusiasts as "not that thrilling visually." OMG. I could have lived a very good non-neurotic life with just the word penis.

Dick always sounded funny, especially because it was the first name of people like Dick Van Dyke and Dick Tracy. Cock was too harsh. But penis sounded nice. Like peanut. Or please us. Or Venus. If you keep saying it over and over again it just never gets old. But my mother, god bless her, anointed my joint the Dinky bird. Now we all know that dinky means "small or unimportant." You don't want a dinky anything. You don't want a dinky house or a dinky car or a dinky boat. So what the hell mom? Really? Now my older sister did not have a "dinky bird." She had a "pee pee." Okay, once again: my mother, master of deception and word play, reduced my sister's future happy place to a "pee pee." My poor sister, who was full of dinky bird envy, invented an imaginary girl who lived under our bathroom sink named "Elsa" which was obviously a form of compensation for her lack of dinkiness. Since we bathed together, she always had a ,well, bird's eye view of my magnificence that was obviously not a part of her personal inventory. And to make it even worse: it was called a pee pee.

So what have we learned here? Not much. I mean in today's PC world everything is called by its precise name, so this generation has played hard ball and a penis is a penis, a vagina, a vagina and they are both genitalia, which to me still sound like Italian ices. Is that better? It's certainly less precious and demeaning, that's for sure. But since network TV is not quite up to cable standards, the height for humor since the late nineties on network TV have been the vajajay and penis jokes. No standards just practices here. And p.s. -- really?? Every twenty to thirty something on today's sitcoms are obsessed with body parts just like your average four-year-old. Maybe what the networks need are not development executives but rather a PC mommy and daddy to help them grow the hell up, reduce the shame and nicknames and return comedy to the level of crafty wit that used to be the staple of the sixties and seventies. Can you imagine the cast of Cheers or All in the Family or Mary Tyler Moore talking about their private parts at all? Whatever happened to euphemisms? Word play?

We are shame-based people now and we just love to watch people become publicly shamed. We just loves our Amanda Bynes and our Lindsay Lohans and our Britney Spears and our Desperate housewives, our Jersey shore and our Kardashians. We make them rich and famous in exchange for their public humiliation. We laugh at them. We cackle at the Honey Boo Boos thinking we're so much better and sophisticated. But we're not. We're just a bunch of pees pees and dinky birds who want everyone to feel just as bad about themselves as we secretly do.

So what do you say we try a different path for a change? Why not try to be a little more sophisticated and appropriate and literate instead of spending our evenings in Louisiana swamps and dynasties of ducks? Why not sit in coffee shops, like we do in Hastings on Hudson, and exchange ideas and stories and help each other become better people by being a part of the community? I know. There's a little Aaron Sorkin in me. And why not? He's passionate. He's eloquent and most importantly he reminds me to (A) love my fellow American and most of all: think.

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